Thursday, April 28, 2011

My creative space...

 On the table....While I love the thrill of buying new fabric - the prepping is my least favorite, the washing, drying and cutting all the loose threads. Ironing I actually enjoy.

This week hasn't allowed for much sewing time - Single Girl quilt is still on the design wall. Like I said she will be six this year so I some time...LOL
And pieces are getting cut out still for the Supernova quilt-a-long... instead of a quilt-a-long I will be needing a support group. lots of tiny pieces - more than the single girl.
This quilt is actually done now and given to Quilts for Quake Survivors - more detailed post on this one to come soon.

What am I thinking about.... learning how to embroider or cross stitch, an all solids quilt made of whites, light blues and ice blues, getting my fingers dirty with some altered art painting, finishing my grandmothers memory quilt, my next photo shoot and getting up at 1AM to watch the start of the Royal wedding tomorrow.

Go to kootoyoo to see other inspiring creative spaces and play along...

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

I am, a Porkchop

                     Source: via Allison on Pinterest

Yup, when I received a text from my best friend describing us both as 'porkchops' there wasn't anything I could do except laugh. I am a porkchop! btw - those are the kind of friends that you want. No sugar coating.

I am getting ready to get back on the wagon, back on track and the road to healthy - shed some serious pounds! After finishing Commit 2 Fit 2011 I am always charged up to keep on going, the challenge always gives me the push I need to get organized and start planning for more.

Right now I am probably at my heaviest - EVER. With the help of correct dressing and spanx I was able to disguise it for a while. Now there isn't enough spanx that I can wear comfortably to live the lie. LOL! With Commit 2 Fit I was able to get rid of some bad habits, but now I have to take the good habits I picked up and amplify them. I want to lose inches, % of body fat, and pounds. Once I get through step one [below] I will blog post my goal numbers. Not sure I am brave enough to post bathing suit photos... if I do, will you? :)

                                                   Source: via Jennifer on Pinterest

Step One - go back to Weight Watchers. I need those meetings, the journaling, and to watch my portions. They worked in the past. And how inspiring is Jennifer Hudson?? I will still continue to supplement with Advocare products and work them into my points. My first meeting back is going to be tonight so I will report my weigh in - I may try some other meeting times closer to where I live. Anyone in the Vancouver area attend meetings? If so, which one? I might check out Monday evenings too...
                                 Source: via Kristin on Pinterest

Step Two - get moving. I have been trying to run and trying...but I am a fair weather runner - which means with the weather we have been having I don't get out much. Running is hard enough as it is - add down pours with hail, definitely not going. I really don't like the gym [germs] and right now I don't want to spend the money on a trainer. Solution... P90X. A couple of years ago I borrowed my sisters set [shhh] just to see what it was like. I actually liked it! We really didn't have a place to do the workouts without moving a bunch of furniture around each time I wanted to work out. Now, I have moved some things around and will possibly have a set up in the garage. I just ordered my own set yesterday so I have a few days to figure it out. Do you do P90X? If you do I would love to know!

Step Three - physical exam and run some level test with my doctor. At 42 things are changing and I want to make sure that I am supplementing correctly.

Let me know if you want to join me - let's encourage each other! OR if you are already way ahead - we need your encouragement - 
                                                                 Source: None via Jennifer on Pinterest

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh the Places You'll Go

 A little lady - a younger version of my sister.

During my nieces photo shoot I got out this old suitcase and she asked me 'Where are we going?' and as I looked through the view finder and saw her, the only thing I could think of saying was 'Oh the Places You'll Go!' No to sound cliche - but it was only yesterday that she was posing for Alison and showing her how she can do pig snorts. She was three. Now she is going to be six.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Winner Winner chicken dinner!

The winner from the  My Family | My Version is.....

Please email me directly: paulamw [at] comcast [dot] net - looking forward to sending this book to you!

I loved hearing from all of you - I love that we all have a great understanding of other people's choices. It's so refreshing to see - have a wonderful Monday!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blogging WINNER!

Ready to start your blog Kim????:) Will be sending out your goodie package!

My family | My version

For a long time I struggled when people would ask me 'Why aren't you going to have kids?' Any answer I came up with was always followed up by 'well it's different when their yours' [why is that?poop smells like poop, whether it's yours or someone elses], 'it's just not your time' [believe me it's not my time, I am going to be 42 this year], 'you would make such a great parent' [have you seen my spoiled dogs? really?], 'you could be so happy' [who says I'm not happy now?] etc. etc. etc.

So now my answer is a question back to them 'Why do you have kids?' which is often met with a look of shock and a variety of answers that mimic the above questions. Then comes the look of disgust when I tell them that I actually have 'kids' and tell them these are my children - we call them furbabies. Selby [11], Jesse [7],  and Amos [9]

All three of them are long hair miniature black & tan Dachshunds - their pattern is dapple with Jesse being a double dapple. All three come with their own child like issues...

This is Selby - she was our first and she is all girl and what you expect from a female Dachshund. Never listens, overweight, bossy, allergic to EVERYTHING, eats the most expensive hypo allergenic dog food on the market, her vet bills total more than college tuition, loud barker, grumpy, wants to be everywhere but where she is, can't hear us - but can hear you downstairs getting something out of a plastic bag, has separation anxiety, when you put her on a diet - just to piss you off she will eat poop, will run out the front door and never come back, pretends at the dog park that she was attacked [not kidding - its embarrassing and one of the reasons why we don't go anymore], cries the entire time she is in a car, LOVES babies and kids [way too much - she wants to lover them to death] and if you already haven't guessed she is a daddy's girl.

This is Amos - we got Amos because we thought Selby needed a playmate. Selby HATED Amos - so much she took a huge poop in front of our bedroom door the first night he was home. Needless to say - Amos had to learn to entertain himself. But he ended up being our over achiever jock dog - as our breeder Jeanie would say 'A happy Dachshund is an obedient Dachshund'. Unlike Selby, Amos went to puppy school at 4 months and never looked back. He then went on to racing [for charity]- his claim to fame was at a Seattle Seahawks game during half time in front of a sold out crowd crazy for Wiener racing. Unfortunately that would be his last race. Amos was diagnosed with IVDD, fortunately it has been successfully treated by acupuncture and physical therapy. In the coming months I will be posting more about Amos' treatment and how we care for him. Amos is a momma boy - he has to spoon me every night in bed. [yes, all three sleep with us. Another reason why we don't have kids;)]

This is Jesse - or the J-man, or Jesse-po-pessie. HE is a boy dog and he would also like me to tell you that he is a show dog. [ex-show dog, but we whisper that] I did take him in the ring for a year and did the show tour with him... I will spare you all the stories and just tell you to watch the movie Best in Show - they didn't miss a beat.  Jesse may be are smartest dog we have. He has also chosen an alternative dog lifestyle. Short story - after an unsuccessful mating [with a very cute and willing female, he wanted nothing to do with] he immediately came home, ran upstairs and humped his favorite stuffed bear to death. NOT kidding. We are still waiting for Jesse puppies, not holding my breath, pretty sure that ship has sailed. His favorite pastime [other than spending time with his bear] is dressing up in his Superman costume. Oh, and if you haven't guessed this one...he is a momma's boy. In fact, saying that he tolerates Kirk would mean that Jesse would actually acknowledge him during feeding time.

See not much different than those of you with children right?? kidding... a little bit.

This was us at Christmas [2010]
This is us - our version of family. However backwards people may think it is, it works for us and that's what counts. Around Valentine's Day this year my favorite people from Compendium sent me one of their new books: '2' How will you create something beautiful together? As Kirk and I were looking at this together I was thinking to myself 'those guys hit it out of the park again!' To quote them "Like life itself, the enclosed '2' book is meant to be shared with someone you love. Let the thoughts in these pages inspire you to dream together, plan together, laugh together - and fall in love with life all over again." Those last few words really resonated with me and that really does sum up what Kirk and I share together: we love life, so we can love each other. 

So today's giveaway [so sad, it's the last giveaway. well not the very last, you know what I mean] I have a '2' book to giveaway to a random reader! You don't have to be married to win - save it for when you are with someone or share it with a couple you know. 
Just leave a comment here - how many lovely children do you have? Do they walk on two feet or four paws? Check back on Monday, April 24th at 8:00 AM for the winner! Happy Easter to you and your families -

Friday, April 22, 2011

Crafty Winner!

Winner for the crafty surprise box is....

Please contact me directly @ paulamw [at] comcast [dot] net so I can send out your goodie box!! :)

Blogging | Tech Goodies

I am not sure if I can call myself an early adopter of technology - sometimes budget takes precedent over having the latest and greatest and color isn't as important as functionality. What I look for in technology is does it make my life easier/better - what value does it bring?

I am mostly an Apple gal with the exception of the work laptop and the Kindle [my first Kindle post]. While I had some reservations in the beginning now I am sold on the Kindle. I have the latest version that is smaller - Kindle 3G Besides my reference books [business and design reads] all of my reading is done on the Kindle. I have tried using the iPad for reading and just can't do the screen. I am on the computer all day and the reader technology that the Kindle uses doesn't tire my eyes after a long day. In fact I believe I can read faster and longer with it!

My main computer is an iMac and it is a workhorse! I use it for personal computing and for my photography business. For awhile I thought that I would need a G4 Tower for my photography but it is capable of doing the job and it's now five years old! I am planning on upgrading it this month to the new iMac. Along with my iMac I have a Wacom Intuos 4 tablet - this helps with all the digital editing I do and has really helped with my tendinitis. It was either that or try learning to use the mouse with my left hand. I wouldn't buy the wireless model [save some money] - mine is plugged in all the time through the USB port.

My PowerBook laptop has been replaced with the iPad. At first I didn't know how I was going to use it and now I can't live without it. When people ask me about the iPad, I always tell them that its great for consuming content - not creating content. I love having it in the kitchen for recipe viewing, while traveling I can keep up with my blogs, email and everything else. If you are new to the whole App world and iPads check out the app called AppStart for iPad in iTunes. I also love using Adobe Ideas for drawing and jotting down ideas when I am out and about. Both are free apps!

My cellphone is the iPhone 4. I am really happy with everything but the cell provider for the iPhone - AT&T has the worst service in my area. What I appreciate about my cellphone is it allows me to do things while still be connected to work, let's me obtain information so I can make decisions right away instead of waiting until I get home or back to the office, navigation and all the other apps that I use throughout the day - bring value and entertainment.
  • Daily Feather Report - dressing for your zip code!
  • Shazam - don't know the name of the song or artist?? tag it 
  • Chipotle - never have to wait in line again...
  • UrbanSpoon - shake to see where you are going to eat tonight

I use all of these tech tools at some time or another to publish this blog. Writing the blog is a whole different story! As you can tell, I write exactly like I talk - it's authentic. I know it's not the best grammar and I am the hero of run on sentences, but I am not going to employ an editor and lose the tone. I receive several emails from people that want to start a blog but feel that they can't write. I always tell them that by writing a blog your writing actually improves over time - practice, practice, practice.  I also tell them to read this book: Bird by Bird. Like one review said - it's not a how-to-book [it's funny] it's more of a book to get you through your fears of writing. If you are more of hands on learner then I highly recommend this online class by Decor8, I am an alumni from 2010 and found it to be invaluable.

So to encourage some of you to start blogging, today's giveaway is a great book by Tara Frey, Bloggin for Bliss and four issues of Artful Blogging! Just enough information to get you started...
Just leave a comment telling us if you have a blog [please add a link to your blog in the comment] and what inspired you to start blogging? A random winner will be announced on Saturday, April 23rd at 8:00AM

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Winner Winnner...

And the winner from Fabric Love...

DawnMarie please contact me directly with your mailing address paulamw [at] comcast [dot] net so I can send you Denyse Schmidts' fun kit and some Best Press!

Today's post will be up later today!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Crafty | paper, glue and glitter

WINNER for the first day drawing is.....

 Please contact me directly: paulamw [at] comcast [dot] net so I can send your package out - enjoy!

With all of the fabric that has taken over my space I am surprised that I can find room to do other crafty things. I manage to squeak out a few things here and there - mainly for gifts. I haven't scrapbooked since doing these albums last summer. But hope to do a little sometime soon. It's funny how things work out when you make something you enjoy, your job. Kinda takes all the F-U-N out of it! Slowly but surely I am getting back into it.

Here are few places [blogs] that inspire me to get out the paper and glue:
I also found another amazing crafty site that features her creative space once a week on Thursdays and you can post your creative space too via forewarned, you will also you lose yourself in other blogs!  So that is what you can find here on Thursdays - My Creative Space... what's on the crafting table,WIP, and hopefully what is finished.

TODAY's GIVEAWAY is a surprise box that is full of crafty goodness! If you are a paper crafter or into the altered stuff, you are going to love this BOX.

[photo from craftzine]
Just leave a comment telling us what project you are working on now :) Winners will be chosen on Friday, April 22nd @ 8:00 AM

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fabric LOVE | my new obsession

I have fallen - fallen hard for fabric and making things out of the fabric! Right now it has been piecing quilts and quilting them. I have some clothing patterns in the stash but haven't had a chance to tackle those yet. I have been too busy assembling my fabric stash!

So how do you get started? Here are some great sites that helped me in the beginning:
  • Oh Fransson! Her blog is chocked full of tutorials and her book,The Practical Guide to Patchwork
    is great for those just starting out.
  • Check out your local Modern Quilt Guild - my group has been fantastic and I have learned so much from the other members.
  • Remember yesterday when I mentioned Flickr for my inspiration? Well it's my go to for sewing too! Some of my favorite groups are: Fresh Modern Quilts, Quilts and Quilting,  and Modern Swapping.
Tools of the trade - this is a short list what I have:

  • Viking/Husqvarna Platinum 750 - I bought this about six years ago and have a love hate relationship with it. Mostly user error since it's a GREAT machine. I also chose to buy it from a local shop, Montavilla Sewing Center. I have always loved their service [tech on staff all the time] and willingness to help when I haul in my machine and say 'I am having major issues'. They are also open seven days a week and free 1:1 lessons with experts. I would encourage you to buy from a local shop that has been in business for some time. You will need your machine serviced [once a year] and you will need help from time to time. 
  • Cutting mat - as large as you can accommodate and afford. Mine is by Olfa - someone is always having sales so wait for a coupon!
  • Rotary cutter - again Olfa, I have a 45mm and a 28mm for smaller pieces. 
  • Rulers - the three I use the most are the 6"x24", 12.5" square and the 4.5" square. I have a handy holder for all my rulers - conveniently located on my cutting table.
  • Iron and Ironing board - I just purchased this incredible iron from a local shop, Modern Domestic. One of the gals brought it in for show and tell at the guild mtg and I had to try it out. It's by Oliso and it has cut my ironing time in half - it is also ergonomically friendly, which is important for my elbow. The iron stays in the horizontal position, these small feet come out when you let go of the handle. When you grab the handle the feet retract.
  • Seam ripper - this will be your best friend, mine is by Clover.
  • Safety pins for quilters - what's the difference? Quilter's safety pins have a curve in them and you will use these to baste your quilt 'sandwhich' and prepare for quilting. [Unless you use fabric spray adhesive - I can't count on the weather to be nice enough to do this, since you want a well ventilated area.] Oh! and don't forget the Kwik Klip this tool will save your fingers and manicure.
  • Thread - I now use Gutterman 50 wt 100% cotton threads and I buy the basic colors [white, cream, gray] in large spools. After reading Red Pepper Quilts and some other blogs, it made sense - use the same thread as the fabric you are sewing in. I started out using the Gutterman 100% polyester and use that for other materials and projects other than quilting. Remember that when you change your thread it could affect the tension on your machine. 
What project do you start with? Think small, but not so small that you are working with micro tiny pieces. Think baby quilt, iPad or Kindle case, mug rug, Here are some ideas

1. 13 inch Macbook/Pro sleeve in temple garland fabric, 2. Wonky square-in-square runner - sent!, 3. Gorgeous mug rug swap, 4. Baby Cole 2010, 5. Crazy 9 Patch Quilt, 6. "Tea Time" Mug Rug front

 And to help a lucky person along - I have a giveaway of Denyse Schmidt's Quilt-It Kit! And also a sampler bottle of Best Press - this has been my newest find.

Leave a comment - we will do a random drawing on Thursday, April 21st....
Tell us about your first sewing experience/project!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Grand Opening | First day

Welcome to my new blog home! In true fashion this week [Mon-Fri] I will be doing some fun giveaways - be sure to tell your friends/family to stop by. This week I am going catch everyone up on what I have been doing, seeing, playing, creating, etc. Please take some time to look around and if you see any hiccups please let me know.

Let's get this Monday started with my re-designed office. I posted the initial reveal here and you can always see my 2009 move here. The 2009 posts offer a more detailed insight into how I organize all my stuff.

I received several questions on how I start or where I get my inspiration for my office and projects I am working on.  I always quickly answer with: in multiple places! Here are some of the tools I use and how I use them:
  • iPhone -  quick, down and dirty shots of places I travel; hotel rooms, offices, colors of the city, restaurants. I make mental notes, but prefer to actually capture anything that really inspired me by taking notes on my phone and sending them to myself, also reminding myself to look at the photo too. Easy peasy. 

  • Your feet/car - well if you don't travel as much as I do then you have to get out and see what's around you. Might be a little surprised! I find so much inspiration just around town - antique shops, retail stores, coffee shops... 
  • Magazines - I still love the paper and miss some of my favorite mags! Right now I am reading: Cloth Paper Scissors - Studios, Where Women Create, Dwell, House Beautiful, Country Living, Architectural Digest, InStyle, Fast Company, WIRED, Southern Living, Real Simple, and Whole Living. I am usually a 'ripper' reading through the magazine and ripping out what interests me. Always have a pen near by so you can write notes on why you are taking the time to rip it out!If I don't need to use the information right away the rip out will get filed away by theme into my lateral file drawers. A good friend of mine uses HUGE three ring binders -
  • Flickr - I am probably on Flickr more than I am on Facebook. This is such a great place to find inspiration! So easy to share and upload your photos - I also find that the 'community' part of sharing is very low profile. You can join groups that share a very niche interest - for example there are several groups on the topic of craft rooms, do a search on Flickr for: Art Studio, Craft Rooms, Etsy Open Studios, My crafting room, Operation:Sewing Room Organization. Those are a few that I have joined. When you find something you like, mark it as a favorite so you can always reference it later. 
  • Pinterest - I have loved this site since it first launched, I was on pins and needles waiting for my invite to come through! it's very easy now to pin what I find on the internet, pin it to the appropriate pinboard and move on. Now I am patiently waiting for the iPhone app [yes, there's an app for that] so when I take my inspiration shots all I need to do is post them to my Pinterest pinboard. This place is full of eye candy - the type that sucks you in for a minimum of three hours your first time in. 

  • Blogs. Lots and lots of blog reading. I am finally using Google Reader, not sure why I wasn't doing that before [I am finding myself liking a lot of things about Google lately] Be sure to check out my blogroll and as I make updates I will let you know. If you are not using Google Reader I highly recommend that you check it out. 
TODAY's GIVEAWAY is a stack of past issues of Where Women Create and a few Cloth Paper Scissors-Studio. Leave a comment to be entered in the random drawing and answering this question:

"Where do you find inspiration?"

Random winner will be drawn on Wednesday, April 20th at 8:00AM PDT

Friday, April 15, 2011

Commit 2 Fit | Challenge TOP three!!!

[Screen printed card from Rifle Paper Co.]

Finally it's time to announce the Commit 2 Fit Challenge top three.... it was close between the top three but the rest of us were far behind 3rd place. But we did pick up some good habits right??? No more soda and lots more water?? Eating at a decent hour??

Okay back to our top three challengers - it was a family affair. I even had to check twice just to make sure my math was correct. Congrats to the Heggin's Family! Kim, Dwight and Ash in that order. Way to show us how a family can work together on making good healthy choices. Your goodie box will be going on in a couple of weeks!

Monday, April 11, 2011


[front door photo from Pacific Mutual Door]

You know when you move into a new house and there is the excitement of designing, colors, furniture, etc. Then you start packing and loading truck loads of your junk, your back hurts, and you swear you are never moving again ... well that is exactly what I have been feeling like when I decided to take on a whole new personal blog. WHEW!

There are two very important people that I need to THANK! They of course added to the excitement part of moving [not the swearing].

First my designer - Ironwood Design Studio. Rachel was so gracious and very easy to work with. I highly recommend them. Be sure to check out the other work they have done - amazing! I am also a little jealous that she lives on one of my favorite places: MAUI. Thank you Rachel!

Second is my long time friend Anna Robyn [or AR] - she rescued me from the heavy lifting. Moving from Typepad to Blogger is no easy task. There are a few short cuts that worked for 50% of the move. The rest of it was done manually - yes, each photo had to be deleted and re-saved. Expect some link breaks here and there, I am hoping to fix those as I time allows.

THANK YOU to you both!

Now it's time to Par-TEEEEE!!!! Mark your calendars for Monday, April 18th for some giveaway fun!!